Browse our analysis section for news and articles on topics such as China's Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), the world's evolving digital infrastructure competition, and the stakes for U.S. policy.
This series of case studies underscores the poor state of North Korea’s existing energy infrastructure, illustrates different models for delivering projects, and considers the strategic implications of different paths forward for the peninsula's energy connections.
On September 29, CSIS hosted an online discussion of Jonathan Hillman's new book on China's Belt and Road Initiative, The Emperor’s New Road: China and the Project of the Century, moderated by Axios China reporter Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian.
Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are attempting to put economics at the center of their strategic partnership, but a closer look at four dimensions of China-Russia connectivity reveals a partnership of unequals that will become even more lopsided in the future.
Russia has become Huawei's fastest growing market as Moscow seeks to reduce dependence on Western technological infrastructure, and the Chinese tech company recently announced a partnership with Russia's Sberbank to develop a cloud platform.
The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), stretching from the eastern coast of India to Europe via Iran, Russia, and the Caspian region, has been plagued by financial and political difficulties but its economic impact could be transformative if ever fully realized.
A flurry of recent diplomatic activity highlights the multilateral and multi-stakeholder footing of Eurasia's North-South trade and transport initiatives. While significant economic and political challenges remain, they retain the potential to transform Eurasia's economic landscape.
Concerns about U.S. restrictions on advanced technology have brought Russia and China together, with the two countries creating a $1 billion joint investment fund for high-tech projects. Huawei is a particularly active AI player in Russia and has announced plans to build an “AI ecosystem” in the country, Nikkei reports.
Russia is courting India to join the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), a move that would boost bilateral economic ties and enhance the trade bloc's international status, Nikkei reports.
Belarus recently secured a $500 million loan from the China Development Bank and stopped negotiations on a possible loan from Russia. The agreement followed a series of investments under China's Belt and Road Initiative, including funds for Belarusian railways and the Great Stone Industrial Park, raising speculation that the Eastern European country is seeking to deepen ties with China and reduce its dependency on Moscow.
It is too early to know whether China's Belt and Road will bring change, but for now, locals in northeastern China appear uncertain about the initiative and skeptical of its promises.
The development of the Millennium Highway, which links China to Russia through Mongolia, has catalyzed changes extending beyond Mongolia's aspirations for national, regional, and global connectivity. Through a series of local interviews, this new study by Dr. Alexander Diener and Dr. Batbuyan Batjav explores the intended and unintended consequences of Mongolia's efforts to build paved roads where none existed.
The China Railway Express, part of the Belt and Road Initiative, has replaced the Trans-Siberian Railway as the main rail network connecting Asia and Europe.
In August, Ankur Shah and Vivek Pisharody departed on a 4,300km expedition along the China-Russia border to explore the regional impacts of China's multi-billion-dollar infrastructure initiative, the Belt and Road. Follow their progress in real-time on the interactive map below.
As Russia and China sign economic agreements and deepen their ties, they will also have to work through friction caused by China’s economic advancement under the Belt and Road in Central Asia, Nikkei reports.
By traveling the length of China's 4,300 km border with Russia, Ankur Shah aims to understand what China's Belt and Road Initiative means for daily life along on the border.
Chinese and Russian enterprises signed roughly $20B in business deals in Moscow on Wednesday. Much of the deals focused on the energy sector and 5G mobile technology, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
In 2017, China surpassed South Korea to become the world’s second-largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) importer. In a few years, it might overtake Japan. But how is China securing its LNG needs?
Should inter-Korean cooperation result in the re-joining of North and South Korea's railways, it could connect the peninsula through China and Russia to a rail network that spans Eurasia. However, such connections will require a long and costly modernization process to fully integrate the systems in a commercially viable way, complicating the future of these potentially transformative links.
Reconnecting Asia tracks infrastructure developments across Eurasia, a vast landmass that includes 60 percent of the global economy. Every day, new infrastructure projects are announced, some are advanced, and others encounter obstacles. Here is a selection of projects and trends we will be watching in 2019.
Washington’s shortsightedness is pushing its own competitors—the world's largest nuclear power and the second-largest economy—closer together.
A milestone agreement on trade and economic cooperation signed in May 2018 represents an important step forward for the relationship between the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Although Beijing insists that its Belt and Road Initiative has no geopolitical motives, the project has been at the center of an increasing number of political controversies, foreign and domestic, writes the Financial Times in a Special Report, citing analyses from the Reconnecting Asia Project.
Following their meeting at the 2018 Eastern Economic Forum, Chinese president Xi Jinping and Russian president Vladimir Putin affirmed their intention to link China's Belt and Road Initiative with the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union.
China's "Ice Silk Road," which would create a shortcut between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic via the Arctic, could complicate relations with Russia as the two nations compete for influence in Central Asia, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
As the Mongolian government works to build the Mongolia-Russia-China economic corridor, the country's former prime minister, Sukhbaatar Batbold, believes China's Belt and Road Initiative could help regional infrastructure, trade, and investment and accelerate economic growth.
Quotes and Quotas is a weekly digest of powerful phrases and facts that help explain Asia’s infrastructure push.
In the face of uncertainty about how the U.S. and China will respond to regional challenges, South Korea will likely continue to opt for flexible partnerships, such as with Russia, where specific interests overlap or converge.
As Arctic sea ice steadily shrinks and temperatures rise, Russia and China compete for control of newly accessible natural resources and transportation routes while cooperating to finance the development of resource extraction and transportation infrastructure.
The New Silk Road Project will travel 10,000 miles across China’s Economic Belt from London to Yiwu to investigate the people, projects, countries, and landscapes involved in China's Belt and Road Initiative.
Quotes and Quotas is a digest of phrases and facts that help explain Asia’s infrastructure push.
As Europe disappears, Asia coheres. The supercontinent is becoming one fluid, comprehensible unit of trade and conflict, as the Westphalian system of states weakens and older, imperial legacies – Russian, Chinese, Iranian, Turkish – become paramount.
Just 10 years ago, regular direct freight services from China to Europe did not exist. Today, they connect roughly 35 Chinese cities with 34 European cities. But despite their rapid advances, these lines must compete with maritime routes that have dominated commerce between Asia and Europe since the late fifteenth century. It remains to be seen how much trade they can capture.
Philippines plans to spend $154 billion on infrastructure projects by 2022, including the consideration of finally bringing Southeast Asia's only nuclear reactor to life three decades after its completion.
Infrastructure improvements within the Eurasian Economic Union have fueled interest in a free trade agreement between Thailand and the Russia-led bloc.
China's recently-announced "Polar Silk Road" has the potential to redraw the region's geopolitical map, writes one contributor for the Nikkei Asian Review.
The Japanese government has compiled infrastructure development scheme proposals for Vladivostok ahead of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's scheduled visit to Russia in May, Nikkei reports.
Russia has started shipments of LNG from the China-backed Yamal port project in Siberia.
Reconnecting Asia is tracking developments across a vast landmass that includes 60 percent of the global economy. Every day, new infrastructure projects are announced, some are advanced, and others encounter obstacles. Here is a selection of the top projects to watch in 2018.
The evolving nature of international trade due to China's Belt and Road Initiative will be one key trend to watch in 2018.
The inauguration of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway has opened the possibility of a southern route for trade between China and Europe.
When the United States took possession of Alaska from Russia, 150 years ago today, it paid less than two cents an acre. So what happened to the global market for territory?
CSIS's leading regional experts discuss how the ambitious connectivity visions of regional powers across Eurasia could re-shape the future of the super-continent.
Major infrastructure projects... can still fail economically in terms of opportunity costs either because of excessive costs or insufficient demand but their political importance can be very significant, even momentous.
The guiding principle of the Trans-Siberian Railway was not about the routine moving of people from place-to-place, but sticking a pair of iron rods into bleak territory that had strategic importance in defining Russia’s role in the Far East.
What might have alarmed U.S. strategists during the Cold War could be cause for relief. The addition of India and Pakistan to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization signals a potential shift away from military coordination and toward economic cooperation.
During a recent trip to Europe and Russia, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushed a pro-globalization message.